Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIFIC AREA OF INTEREST IN YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY?
Peer/ Group Advocacy
WHY IS YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY IMPORTANT TO YOU?
“In the dark times / Will there also be singing? / Yes, there will also be singing / About the dark times” (Bertolt Brecht)
It is through mental health advocacy that we come together and share our stories. It is through the act of sharing and speaking up that we start our collective journey to heal
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
While there have been big improvements in the last decade, mental health remains largely unaddressed and stigmatized in Vietnam. We simply do not talk enough about small things that happen every day in our lives that make a big difference on our mental wellbeing.
PROPOSED FELLOWSHIP PROJECT
Project: Trauma-informed Parent-child Communication Deck
If you go onto any media platform, you will find memes about how Asian children are unable to connect with their parents; it feels like the youths are speaking one language while their parents speak another. Young people may joke about growing up is exploring the multiple ways that your parents failed you, or successfully transferring their generation’s hurts and expectations onto you. There is actually a term for the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon: intergenerational trauma.
In the context of Southeast Asia, you have a generation of parents who grew up through the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge genocide, the Rohingya genocide, and several atrocities that had been forgotten in the Eurocentric world’s history. As a result, you have parents who don’t know how to talk with their children, and children who received achievement anxiety, financial anxiety, and emotional wounds as their inheritance.
I want to raise awareness about intergenerational trauma and create a tool to improve parent-child communication. I want to do this via creating an evidence-based, culturally appropriate, and accessible Trauma-informed Parent-child Communication deck of cards (the actual product, of course, will have a much wittier and less technical name).
The tradition (and current trend) of using informative cards to learn, reflect, practice mindfulness, or for bonding is already popular in Vietnam. When played among a group of friends, the deck of cards should help individuals explore their own experiences and connect with others. When played among parent(s) and child, the deck should help the dyad explore things they don’t know about each other and promote communication.